In terms of intended purposes and practices empowering one to optimally perform at the fullest of potential, William Jennings Bryan once offered insight on destiny, saying it is not a thing to be waited for, but rather something to be achieved. He said, “Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice.” Today, thanks to an innovation of technology initially designed to enhance military operations involving transportation, an enterprise in New York is helping commercial transport teams eliminate the negative impacts associated with chance by providing a tool which enables both drivers and fleet directors to make wiser choices. In this case, it’s an achievement helping both the company and its customers drive more directly and assuredly toward a desired destiny with success.
From Vnomics Corp. headquarters in Pittsford, New York, CEO David Chauncey poses a scenario: “Suppose that there is a situation you’re in, but you have an opportunity to make a decision. If you make the right decision, you’ll have the optimal outcome, but if you make the wrong decision, then the non-optimal outcome occurs and there’s no way to change that. It’s too late. The only time you can change the outcome is the instant you make a decision. That’s what our system is all about, making the right decisions at the right time in order to have the right outcome.”
To clarify that perspective, consider that you’re a professional in the field of transportation tasked with the demanding oversight of ensuring the integrity of fleet operations. No matter whether you’re personnel is transporting perishable items, sensitive electronic equipment, hazardous chemicals, or say, a busload of school children, your ability to safely deliver the goods is drastically dependent on the performance of both the driver and the vehicle being operated. If either is unable to perform to your desired expectations, wouldn’t you want to know that long before a breakdown or major mishap occurs?
This very capability has compelled the emergence of an extraordinary solution in telematics that is helping transportation companies not only achieve increased safety and regulatory compliance, but also increased efficiency and, yes, profitability. Vnomics is the producer and provider of a fleet telematics solution that touts unprecedented degrees of control capability. It combines more than mere GPS and communication functionality, but also real time monitoring of performance complemented by clairvoyance into the future. In other words, it not only allows users to instantly know a driver’s location, the speed at which he is driving and the manner in which he is driving, as a Remote Vehicle Diagnostic system, it additionally assesses the vehicle’s mechanical system, both in real time as well as what that condition will be in the future. If a mechanical component or process requires repair or replacement, this tool allows operators to predict it and prevent it or prepare for it, before it actually happens.
In addition to sending detailed back-office notifications and alerts, Vnomics technology accommodates in-cab, driver coaching intervention, allowing a driver to fully analyze aspects of their own operational performance and take corrective action. Through the continuous monitoring of interactions involving driver behavior, the vehicle, load-bearing, terrain being traversed and environmental factors, this patented technology actually identifies the most optimal way to operate the vehicle. Data is provided through a system that ultimately serves to coach the driver who receives real-time alerts (instant feedback) for improper shifting, hard acceleration, speeding, idling, and more.
The In-Cab Advisor mechanism only sounds in cases when it detects improper driving behavior or a system-condition that might compromise the vehicle’s performance. When the vehicle is stopped, In-Cab Advisor then generates an onscreen scorecard which displays key performance metrics, further empowering drivers to immediately assess their respective impact on fleet operations, for better or worse. This is objective feedback that ultimately produces a score which is reported on Vnomics web portal to allow review by management. Driver behavior is recognized as the most crucial factor impacting fleet fuel consumption, operational efficiency and safety. With many in the transportation industry striving to identify solutions for measuring and improving driver performance, the real-time coaching capability has fostered more “wow factor” for Vnomics technology. Some Vnomics customers are now using the In Cab Advisor scorecard in conjunction with incentive programs for top-scoring drivers.
As for other rewards, Chauncey says companies that have integrated Vnomics’ technology into their fleet operations have successfully eliminated impacts from unexpected breakdowns, gained greater overall awareness of fleet conditions, reduced costs and significantly improved their operational efficiency. The technology also imparts eco-sensitive advantages in reduced carbon emissions born from reductions in fuel consumption. What’s more, users rapidly achieve savings which more than cover the cost of the system, in some cases, within less than ninety days – and that’s not corporate propaganda, but genuine results which have been resoundingly repeated from Vnomics customers.
Attesting to Attributes
For a clearer understanding of the benefits imparted by Vnomics, one need only consider claims made from its clients. Those include a variety of national or regional commercial trucking operations, corporate fleet managers and in another case, principals of a school bus transit system. Chauncey shares a laugh explaining in the past, the performance of school bus drivers were monitored by the frequency in which children experienced motion sickness when sitting at the back of the bus. “Since they started using our device, they report that they no longer have messes to clean-up,” says Chauncey. Much the same, commercial trucking firms also report being spared from certain messes.
“The way Vnomics functions is very different than what we have seen from others in the commercial trucking telematics space. The real-time functionality, robust In-Cab Advisor, and proactive maintenance capabilities really captured our attention,” says Logistics Manager Joe Rodibaugh of Klein Steel. As a metal processing company that distributes to thousands of customers throughout America, Klein Steel saw a 9.2% improvement in MPG within six months.
Or consider the case at Terpening Trucking, a fourth generation fuel hauler that annually delivers more than 400 million gallons of fuel throughout America and Canada. Since implementing the technology, Terpening has experienced a 9.8 % improvement in MPG, a 29% increase in sales and an astounding 73% improvement in safe driving miles. As Terpening Trucking Safety Director Brian Brundige affirms, “Our goal is always to improve safety and service. We chose Vnomics because it provides simplified safety monitoring and responsive customer service. We’re beyond thrilled with what Vnomics has done for us in these areas.”
At DeCarolis Truck Rental in Rochester New York, Maintenance Director Ken Anderson says, “Vnomics has given us the crucial visibility we need to know what is happening with our assets at all times. Having the ability to monitor truck performance and driver behavior in real time has been invaluable for reducing our maintenance expenses, our risk and liability exposure, and we have an overall understanding of how our assets are being used.”
These, of course, represent just a fraction of the feedback that Vnomics has received from satisfied customers, but to expound on the veracity of Vnomics capability, one might also consider another composite comprising a share of this company’s customer base, in this case, that means an organization particularly known for being rather commanding when it comes to the fulfilling of operational orders – the Department of Defense.
Ten years of research and development and more than $30 million was spent before this technology was brought to the commercial market. Chauncey explains that in the early 2000s, through an initiative sponsored by the Department of Defense and Office of Naval Research (responsible for the coordination of science and technology programs of the United States Navy and Marine Corps) (the U.S. military) sought to improve the reliability of vehicles during combat situations. The goal was to develop a technical means for increased monitoring of vehicle systems to minimize breakdowns or mechanical failures. Whether in combat conditions or the general call to duty, no one wants to be on the bad end of a mechanical mishap. In this case, the military sponsored research by the best and brightest available at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). A privately endowed, coeducational university comprised by nine colleges which emphasize career education and experiential learning, RIT was founded in 1829 and has since earned distinction as one of the top institutions of higher learning in America.
While its student incubator (the Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship) has been ranked as the best in the nation, RIT’s engineering school and design school has also been recognized among the best in the world. From this environment, RIT students set out to create the technology that would advance this directive. The program was bolstered by the brilliance of Dr. Nabil Nasr, an international leader in the research and development of sustainable manufacturing, remanufacturing and clean product solutions. From founding the Center for Remanufacturing and Resource Recovery (a leading conduit of applied research and manufacturing technologies) Dr. Nasr went on to serve as Director of the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies, an initiative designed to increase competitiveness of manufacturers through applied technology and training. More recently, Dr. Nasr has been appointed Associate Provost and Director of RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability.
And to augment the acumen deployed for this project, researchers secured further help from someone who could infuse classroom activities with genuine insight of field operations.
Ed McCarthy is a distinguished veteran of the United States Marine Corp. Over the course of his career, he commanded Marine units and provided logistical/operations support involving armored services. He holds degrees in electrical engineering, has served as an instructor at the United States Naval Academy, and has also managed programs involving technical initiatives for the Department of Defense. McCarthy was still serving with the Marines when he became aware of the research taking place at RIT, in fact, he helped supply some of the early vehicles which were used for testing the product. Upon retiring, McCarthy joined the team of researchers and developers, offering insight into real world situations in which this technology would be applied. He ultimately became the Senior Program Manager. “This was a great team of people who approached this project with great pride and passion,” says McCarthy. “Many of the students had friends, or family, who had gone to serve in the military, and they were excited to participate in this project because they recognized how it would benefit those who were serving and sacrificing for our nation.”
Ultimately, the technology matured to the point that it could be commercialized. Chauncey, an RIT Alumnus who serves on the industry advisory board of the school’s electrical engineer department, had invaluable experience serving other electrical product companies and business start-ups. While he stepped-up to help create the business model which has since become Vnomics Corp., McCarthy also enlisted for duty, serving today as Vnomics Vice President of Operations.
Vnomics has also galvanized support from other leading forces of industry. From processors produced by Intel to communication systems deployed by Verizon, Chauncey says Vnomics has partnered with “best-in-class” companies to bring its products to market. Those partnerships include Advantech, a world-leading manufacturer and designer of hardware solutions. As Chauncey says, “We’re basically a software company and we need a platform on which to operate that software, and we’ve had great support and backing to grow our company.”
Less than five years old, Vnomics has grown to now employ several dozen people fully dedicated to growing the company’s market reach as well as the technical capabilities of their products. Chauncey says his team feels that adjustments can be made to offer an even greater resource in the support of improved safety and fuel efficiency, and the research continues. He also acknowledges that Vnomics technology can be adapted to serve in a variety of applications, such as planes, trains, watercraft and industrial equipment. For now, Chauncey says the focus is on increasing its customer base in the commercial trucking field and continuing its role in supporting military fleet operations. “We’re striving to change driver behavior through real time coaching while also delivering technology that allows operators to have a clearer understanding of what is happening with their vehicles, so they can make better decisions, so they can better avoid problems… our platform provides that ability.”
For more information, please visit their website at: Vnomics
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